1. I asked Al Michaels a very simple question on this week’s SI Media Podcast: Is Al Michaels going to Amazon?
The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand recently reported that it’s “90 percent likely” the legendary play-by-play man who currently handles Sunday Night Football duties for NBC will be calling Thursday Night Football on the streaming service beginning next season.
Michaels didn’t say yes when I asked the question and he didn’t say no. But if you’re a person who likes to read between the lines, Marchand can probably change his report from 90 percent to 100 percent.
Here is Michaels’s response to the question:
“Right now, I’m playing out this year. My contract is up at the end of the season. NBC has been great to me. If there is a combination for production between Amazon and NBC, that creates a different template here. Because in effect, we would wind up overseeing two packages. It’s not a deal yet. I know it’s being discussed. Amazon will probably need a partner for production and we’ll see what’s gonna happen at the end of the year.
But right now I’m just trying to relish this point in my life. Loving what I do. Loving the people I work with. We have the Super Bowl in my hometown. This contract can’t end any more beautifully for me and then we’ll take a look and we’ll see what’s gonna happen down the line.
I do know this. I love what I’m doing as much as ever. I’m relishing it. I’ve actually had talks through the years with people like Tom Brady and Drew Brees. When they get towards the end of their career and in a way you know that the end is much closer than the beginning or even the middle and I’m really just sucking out all the joy I can from this season. I wanna get to the end of the year and then figure out what’s gonna happen.”
I then told Michaels that I didn’t understand why he’d be removed from Sunday Night Football by NBC because his work hasn’t diminished in any way, shape or form.
“I don’t know what’s gonna happen down the line,” Michaels said. “I do know this. There was no way that I was going to hang on. If I couldn’t feel as if I was doing the game the way I have to do the game, the way I have done the game, listen, you’re not going to appeal to everybody, I know. I’ve lasted 36 years, prime time in the NFL, so I’ve done a good-enough job that I haven’t pissed off too many people.
There’s no way I’m gonna go out and not be 100 percent perfect what I am. I love doing the games. I prepare for the games as hard as I ever had, maybe even more so because fans know more or as much as you do through social media, all of the channels and places that they can go to get their information. So I gotta stay really on top of it. I enjoy it. I’m exhilarated by it. It’s an intoxicating thing to do this thing and be on the No. 1 show on TV. I don’t know.
That’s a decision that’s out of my hands in that regard. I appreciate your input on this and what you’ve written. I get it and I appreciate it very much. But that is a decision that is not mine.”
Michaels was alluding to this recent Traina Thoughts column in which I said NBC’s plan to move him off their marquee event, Sunday Night Football, made no sense.
After speaking to Michaels for the SI Media Podcast, I stand by that stance more than ever.
Other topics that were covered with Michaels on the podcast include the Aaron Rodgers COVID-19 controversy, the difference between calling games in empty stadiums and calling games with fans in the stands, the wildest game he’s ever called, his old feud with Boomer Esiason, what the problem was with the Dennis Miller Monday Night Football experiment, why he puts ketchup on his steak and much more.
2. While 14 million viewers (the number for Game 6 on Tuesday) for anything on TV these days is a big number, this year's World Series between the Braves and Astros finished as the least-viewed Fall Classic of all time after last year's pandemic World Series.
3. Baker Mayfield has taken a lot of hits from the media over the past few years, but he couldn't have handled overrated Odell Beckham acting like a baby and throwing the quarterback under the bus any better than he did yesterday.
4. Chris Rock had a very NSFW reference to Kyrie Irving while mocking anti-vaxxers at a show in Brooklyn last night.
5. I gave you guys some funny Aaron Rodgers memes and tweets in yesterday's Traina Thoughts right after news broke that he ... let's say ... misled ... people about his vaccination status and that he went with a "holistic" COVID-19 treatment, whatever the hell that means. Here are a few more social media gems.
6. AEW's Jon Moxley, formerly Dean Ambrose in the WWE, entered an inpatient alcohol treatment program earlier this week. On last night's edition of AEW Dynamite, CM Punk addressed the news and spoke about the importance of getting help if you need it.
7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: Happy Diwali.
Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.